I love children's books! More specifically, I love children's books that are rich with descriptive language and compelling illustrations. These illustrations can be as simple as Shel Silverstein's work or very detailed and complex as in the work of Christopher Canyon. Either way, illustrations are excellent provisions in connecting young listeners to visual, context clues. That is why I chose to join the writing community, 12 x 12 in 2012 hosted by Julie Hedlund, I knew that I would connect with writers producing the kind of books that would lend perfectly to my literacy program. You see, I choose books that take my early learners on journeys of wonderment and exploration. Add to this the backdrop of music, and a myriad of fantastical creatures come alive! I love providing an environment with this kind of stimulation and spontaneity!
Each month in MyLMNOP literacy program, a thematic lesson plan is created. A minimum of two stories with similar themes are chosen. From the stories, vocabulary words that encourage descriptive narration from our early learners are employed during each weekly session. The low frequency vocabulary words are accompanied by theme related songs, and dramatic play exercises. Enhancing expressive language through music and literature allows for emergent reading comprehension development, and the expansion of descriptive vocabulary. These activities are excellent aids for students and their retention of abstract concepts. Additionally, phonemic awareness lessons are used to help children as they connect letters to sounds that make up the words to their favorite poem, story, or song. Here's an abbreviated example of a session with MyLMNOP. The few activities extracted from the lesson was for the Older Three's and Younger Four's program. The theme: Time Keeps Passing... Life's Cycles.
Vocabulary Word: Schedule, Routine, and Cycle.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, helped to show how time is measured in the course of a week. The calendar was used as an additional prop for a measuring tool for time. Accompanying song, Greg and Steve, Days of the Week, and McMillan's Sing & Learn, Butterfly Fly
Vocabulary: Larvae, Cocoon, Flutter, Infant, Adult. Reviewed: Schedule, Routine, and Cycle.
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, showed a broader range of our theme. The accompanying songs were, Greg & Steve's Months of the Year, McMillan's Sing & Learn, Sing a Song About the Seasons, and The Circle Game, by Joni Mitchell (which was originally introduced to students as a poem). The children absolutely loved this song! I was pleased to see that some of the Fours understood the verse, "Then the boy moved ten time 'round the seasons." One of the children responded, "He had a birthday ten times!" Reviewing the vocabulary each week helped the students to understand that as time passes, how we measure repeats itself over and over again. Learning the songs: The Days of the Week, The Months of the Year, and Sing a Song About the Seasons, were useful tools in instructing this topic. Presenting this abstract concept of time measured in days, hours, and seasons, allowed this subject to become more concrete to these brilliant early learners.
These books have been used in various other themes, along with many other vocabulary words (especially with our older students). Their application in this topic was so engaging and so much fun. I hope to begin showing videos of my literacy engagements. As soon as I figure out the technical spokes of blogging, uploading music & video files. I am having fun learning. I enjoyed sharing a small part of my literacy program with you.